NHL history is filled with transactions of all shapes and sizes, and in the grand scheme of things most of them end up being fairly meaningless. But several times a season, whether or not we realize it at the time, a team will make a move that reverberates for years or even decades.
Most of those deals are firmly imprinted in fans’ memories. Twenty years later, many Flyers fans can still recite the Eric Lindros trade by heart. The average Habs fan can’t go more than a few hours in their day-to-day lives without being reminded of the Scott Gomez deal. Entire sections of Toronto newspapers were dedicated to daily rehashings of the Phil Kessel–Tyler Seguin trade (at least until it started looking like a good move, at which point it was mysteriously forgotten).
But then there’s the other side of the coin: those trades and transactions that helped alter NHL history but, for whatever reason, have been largely forgotten.
Now, obviously everyone’s mileage will vary a bit here; if you’re a die-hard fan of one of the teams involved, these “forgotten” moves may not be especially forgotten at all. But for many fans, these history-altering deals have been filed away in the cluttered attic of their memory banks — if they’ve ever heard of them at all.
I’m sure there are plenty of examples out there and it would probably take us several posts to even scratch the surface, but here are five to start with: